• 07/08/2020

Ikopta Roof Survey Saves £££££

Ikopta Ltd where performing a roof survey this weekend for a client in Norfolk.

Ikopta Survey
Ikopta UAV used to Survey Roof

IKE , Ikoptas DJI Inpire 1 UAV Drone was used to survey a solar panel roof installation in Norwich, Norfolk for a client, who thought there may be a fault with the Solar photovoltaic system.

The solar Photovoltaic system was installed  ten months ago, on the clients, two storey property in Norwich, Norfolk. They had been enjoying the revenue generated by the solar photovoltaic system on their roof through the government back Feed-In-Tariff (FITs) scheme, which pays homeowners for generating renewable energy on their properties roof. The income generated was very Important for the client, who was not only relying on income to pay back the original purchase price, but also the renewable kilowatt hours they used to reduce their electricity bill.

While in the garden, the client thought they saw that one of the solar photovoltaic panels may have dropped out of line. Concerned, they contacted  a contractor to investigate the issue for them. On following up the enquiry, the contractor came across the following immediate issues:

  1. The building was two storey property, and the solar photovoltaic panels were located on a 45 degree pitched pin tile roof.
  2. The home owner informed the contractor that the pin tiles were particularly brittle, and would not take the weight of a ladder being rested on them. Over 200 had tone replaced during the solar photovoltaic installation.
  3. The properties landscaping was such that a ladder could not be safely sited to meet health and safety guidance, and the size of garden meant the contractor could view the roof sufficiently from the ground to make a satisfactory assessment of the installation.
  4. A glass conservatory meant that an easy-dec system could not be erected.
  5. There was not sufficient access to the rear garden to allow an elevated platform to be used.

The only immediate solution open to the contractor was to use scaffolding. And this is where the dilemma started. The cost to scaffold the rear elevation, to provide a safe inspection area was a minimum of £1700.00!!!! (£1416.67 + VAT).

Normally, this would have been a necessity if it was known what rectification works were required. As it was, at this point, it was not known if there even was a fault, or,  just an optical illusion. If fault was not found, then the home owner would be footing, not only the cost of scaffolding, but also the contractors time. Understandably, the homeowner was hesitant, however, the danger of a loose solar photovoltaic panel on the roof and potential risk to life  and property was something that could not be ignored.

Luckily, the contractor had seen one of Ikopta’s films on the Ikopta YouTube site (SEE HERE). This led them to make contact through the Ikopta website, where Dylan, Ikopta’s Flight Director and chief pilot reviewed to the situation, and said that Ikopta may have a solution for them.

After recording the initial site information, Dylan was able to make a desktop assessment of the feasibility of an Ikopta flight operation at the site. Referring to Ikopta’s CAA permission to fly approval, something professional aerial photographic or film work cannot happen with out, a safe flight operation plan was devised. Weather was the next on the list. When would be a clear, workable window of opportunity with autumnal variations replacing the clear summer days? Was the property in a controlled air zone. Ikopta can operate upto 400 feet above ground level, and with 500m of line of sight. Would Ikopta have the owners permission to take of and land?

With a provisional flight operation plan devised, Dylan was able to produce a flight cost to the home owner, assuming that the onsite pre flight assessment was OK. With the clients agreement to the project the Ikopta team arrived at the property at the appointed time of 2pm.

After arriving at site, Dylan from Ikopta met with the homeowner and contractor to discuss the area of the roof to be initially inspected, the take off area Ikopta would be using, and gave them a safety briefing, explaining what would be happening during the flight operation, how the pilot would be in charge at all times, and what they should expect from the images captured. Ikopta also made sure the homeowner understood the flight plan, showed them Ikopta’s commercial insurance and the CAA PFAW, then asked them to confirm the final written flight operation plan.

The time was 2-20pm. By 2-40 the Ikpota UAV was assembled, and all preflight checks were completed, and IKE, the ikopta UAV was ready to take to the air. After a final safety check, the pilot gave the commands, and the inspection flight was under way.

The DJI Inpire 1 UAV, called IKE, which Ikopta used for this operation, was using the DJI Inspire intelligent flight batteries TB47 & TB48. With an average flight time of 12 to 16 minutes it is important to be efficient during the flight operation. With good piloting skills, and a preplanned flight operation, Ikopta were able to pinpoint the area of concern, as the home owner and contractor were able to view the flight on a separate monitor, so not to distract the pilot, and so they could see the inspection, in real time.

After completing the Ikopta flight plan, Dylan was able land Ike after a 10 minute flight, with all the required images collected.  After the shutdown procedure was completed, and the landing site was made safe, the images were then downloaded for the client and contractor to review fully. Ikopta had pack up, stowed and ready to leave by 3pm.

Within 1 hour, Ikopta had safely provided the customer with the answers they required, for only 10% of the cost of scaffolding out the roof.

The contractor concluded that rectification works were required, but not the extent that was first thought. By using Ikopta, the customer had saved a over £1000.00! In addition, they will be able to claim everything back on the original installation insurance.

Have you got a faulty leaking roof that you need to inspect? Call Dylan @ Ikopta now, tell us what you want to see , and lets see if we can help.

M.07947 763740 E. hello@ikopta.co.uk

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